The IceRays Weekly is a weekly recap and preview of IceRays news, games, and more. The IceRays Weekly will be released every Monday during the 2015-16 season.
Friday, April 1: Wichita Falls Wildcats 2, IceRays 3 (OT)
Shots: Wildcats 25, IceRays 38
PP: Wildcats 0-for-2, IceRays 1-for-4
The Corpus Christi IceRays (24-27-6) earned a full two points in thrilling fashion with a 3-2 overtime win over the Wichita Falls Wildcats (42-10-5) on Friday night at the American Bank Center.
Wildcats forward Garrett VanWyhe (16:52 1st) got the scoring started with a one-time shot to take a 1-0 lead following a tight first period. The IceRays answered back in the second period with two goals coming from forward Brad Power (PP, 9:13 2nd) on an odd-angled shot and forward Mason Krueger (13:16 2nd) with the help of a rogue deflection to leap frog the Wildcats and take a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. Wildcats forward Nikita Litviak (17:31 3rd) also found a fortunate bounce to send the game into overtime tied 2-2. On a two-on-one rush, Power (4:36 OT) tapped in a one-timer to seal the 3-2 win.
IceRays goaltender Dryden McKay (14-13-2) saved 23 of 25 shots in the win, and Wildcats netminder Justin Kapelmaster (32-7-3) halted 35 of 38 shots in the loss.
Saturday, April 2: Wichita Falls Wildcats 2, IceRays 4
Shots: Wildcats 38, IceRays 25
PP: Wildcats 1-for-6, IceRays 1-for-4
The Corpus Christi IceRays (25-27-6) utilized special teams including two shorthanded goals to take down the Wichita Falls Wildcats (42-11-5) with a 4-2 win on Saturday night at the American Bank Center.
IceRays forward Brendan Miller (SH, 9:31 1st) capitalized on his first shorthanded goal of the year to open the scoring in the game after being set up by IceRays forward Brady Crabtree (SH, 3:49 2nd), who then scored the second shorthanded goal of the evening to double the home side's lead, 2-0. IceRays forward Mason Krueger (PP, 6:15 2nd) found a fortunate bounce a few minutes later to triple the lead, 3-0, before the road side answered. Wildcats forward Nick Rosa (15:10 2nd) broke the shutout to draw within two, 3-1, and Wildcats forward Austin Albrecht (PP, 9:21 3rd) put the road team within striking distance at 3-2 before IceRays forward Stevie Bryant (9:40 3rd) redirected a shot just seconds later to take the game to a 4-2 lead, where the score would finish.
IceRays netminder Dryden McKay (15-13-2) earned the win, turning aside 36 of 38 shots. Wildcats goaltender Justin Kapelmaster (32-8-3) was saddled with the loss, halting 13 of 16 shots in 26:15 minutes, and backup Julian Sime stopped eight of nine shots in 31:43 minutes of relief.
Thursday, April 7 @ Wichita Falls Wildcats – 7:05 p.m.
Friday, April 8 @ Wichita Falls Wildcats – 7:05 p.m.
The Corpus Christi IceRays close the 2015-16 regular season and the back end of their four-game stretch against the Wichita Falls Wildcats from the Kay Yeager Coliseum. The IceRays earned their first sweep of the Wildcats this season last weekend, improving to three-straight wins against Wichita Falls and a 3-7-0 record on the season. Their road history hasn't been kind, owning a 5-16-5 record since the opening junior season and 0-4-0 in four road games this season while being outscored 18-5. The IceRays are now 20-30-6 all-time against the Wildcats.
South Division Recap:
The 2016 Robertson Cup Playoffs are all but set in the South Division, and despite the Wichita Falls Wildcats being swept by the Corpus Christi IceRays, they picked up one point with some help around the division to claim their first South Division Title in junior franchise history and becoming the fourth team to claim that title since the 2010-11 season. The Lone Star Brahmas are cemented in second place and will play the Topeka RoadRunners both this coming weekend and in the South Division Semifinals. The Odessa Jackalopes split their weekend with the Brahmas, losing in regulation and winning in a shootout, and with the IceRays two-game sweep at home the two teams go into the final weekend tied for the fourth and final playoff spot with two games remaining. The Amarillo Bulls split their weekend with Topeka and broke a 11-game winless drought.
South Division Standings:
y-Wichita Falls Wildcats 42-11-5, 89 points
x-Lone Star Brahmas 38-11-9, 85 points
x-Topeka RoadRunners 33-24-2, 68 points
Odessa Jackalopes 26-28-4, 56 points
Corpus Christi IceRays 25-27-6, 56 points
z-Amarillo Bulls 12-42-4, 28 points
y – clinched division
x – clinched playoff berth
z – eliminated from contention
The IceRays scored two shorthanded goals for the first time this season in Saturday's win, becoming the first time since Mar. 30, 2013 the IceRays have scored to goals on the penalty kill as well as two-straight shorthanded goals (Joe Ginley, 6:45 2nd; Charles Baldwin, 7:11 2nd). It's just the fifth time in junior franchise history the IceRays have scored multiple shorthanded goals and fourth two-goal game in that regard. The most shorthanded goals in a game came on Nov. 9, 2012 in a 4-2 road win against the Texas Tornado (Rudy Sulmonte, 6:33 1st; Charles Baldwin, 7:09 1st; Michael Economos, 19:565 3rd). The IceRays have five shorthanded goals this season along with 41 shorthanded goals over the past six seasons. The most in a season: 2012-13 with 15 shorthanded goals.
The playoff race heads into the final weekend of the 2015-16 regular season, and both the IceRays and Odessa Jackalopes are even in points. The Jackalopes own the tie-breaker (most wins) if the season were to end with the two teams tied in points after this weekend, so the IceRays need to earn one more point than Odessa this weekend. At worst, the IceRays can go 0-1-1 this weekend if the Jackalopes are swept in regulation, but Odessa cannot sweep if the IceRays want a chance at the postseason. If the Jackalopes are swept in overtime or shootout games and the IceRays split their two games, the teams will end the season with identical records, and Corpus Christi would advance based on the third tie-breaker (head-to-head goal differential). The Jackalopes are 7-2-1 this season against their opponents, the Amarillo Bulls, as well as 3-0-1 at home.
– Defend The Bend –